[Charlottesville, Virginia – December 20, 2016] -- HemoShear Therapeutics, LLC, a privately held, metabolic disease drug discovery company, today announced that it has published data in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight (JCI) on its model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The publication explains HemoShear’s disease model, which uses human tissue, and its ability to uncover biology of this complex disease and evaluate potential efficacy of drug candidates under development for NASH.
In the JCI Insight publication, HemoShear reports that its model recapitulates hallmark features of NASH, including hepatic steatosis (fat build-up), increased cell stress and inflammation, and modulation of extracellular matrix signaling, which is an early sign of fibrosis. For clinical validation, HemoShear also reports close correlation of gene and lipid signatures with tissue biopsy samples from NASH patients. HemoShear further validates its model by studying obeticholic acid, a leading drug candidate in phase III clinical trials.
“We believe our model has a number of advantages over current models, largely because it uses human tissue to interrogate drug responses rather than using animal or cell-line models,” said Brian Wamhoff, HemoShear co-founder and Head of Innovation. “Since we created the model, we have studied more than 20 NASH drugs that are being developed across the industry and have been able to provide scientific insights on these investigational candidates that can help lead to better therapeutics.”
The HemoShear model differentiates itself from current models by:
· Using human cells as opposed to immortalized cell lines or animal models,
· Leveraging the essential principles of physiological blood flow and biological transport, which are absent in traditional, static cell culture systems, and
· Comprising multiple cell types to recapitulate the complex biology of the liver and the disease, and allowing the cell types to be separated and analyzed independently for mechanism-based drug discovery.
“HemoShear’s NASH model recapitulates many of the key features of human NASH and therefore can be used to evaluate the effects of various drug interventions on key pathways that are relevant to disease development and progression,” said Dr. Arun Sanyal, disease expert, Professor of Hepatology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a HemoShear collaborator. “Their disease model presents a means to assess a large number of drug compounds for target engagement (efficacy) at relevant doses, and it allows identification of potential off-target effects.”
NASH is a complex liver disease impacting millions of people and is one of the world’s leading causes of liver transplantation. The disease is caused by fat build-up in the liver, resulting in inflammation and impaired liver function, and can lead to cirrhosis and cancer. Currently there are no drugs approved for NASH or reliable models of the disease that could help develop optimal drug candidates.
In November 2016, HemoShear received two presidential awards for its NASH model at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), which is the leading scientific and clinical conference on liver diseases.
The full published report published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation can be found here: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/90954
About HemoShear Therapeutics
HemoShear Therapeutics discovers novel biological targets and advances drug programs to treat metabolic disorders with significant unmet patient need. Our proprietary drug discovery platform, REVEAL-TX™, enables us to create best-in-class, biological human disease models to uncover and explain the underlying mechanisms of disease, translate those discoveries into drug candidates, and predict which drug candidates will treat patients successfully.
Our current drug discovery programs are focused on organic acidemias, a group of rare genetic metabolic disorders, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic and rapidly growing global disease. HemoShear's collaborators include major pharma companies and leading medical centers.
Cell: 508 851 0930
Office: 617 761 6766